China Tech Newsletter – June 22, 2015

The online financial services business of Lakala, a leading electronic payment solution provider, has raised RMB1.5 billion (roughly US$240m) in new funding at a valuation of about RMB10 billion (roughly US$1.6b), Sun Taoran, CEO of Lakala, announced yesterday (June 21).

Investors include China Taiping Insurance Group, China Reinsurance, China Continent Insurance, and The Cilvil Aviation Development Fund, according to an internal e-mail by Mr. Sun.

Lakala’s financial services unit, currently providing personal investment products, loans and credit scoring service, is in the same direction as Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba’s finance arm.

Founded in 2005, Lakala’s core business is hardware and software solutions for electronic payments, utility billing, digital loyalty programs, among others. Some 3 million brick-and-mortar shops in over 300 Chinese cities are using the Lakala solutions, according to the company. Lakala has also tapped into wholesale grocery distribution.

Lakala is majority-owned by Legend Holdings, parent company of Lenovo. Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi, was an early investor in the company.

China Mobile added 17 million 4G subscribers in May that the total has reached 170 million. 3G subscribers decreased another 6.6 million to 222 million by the end of May.

Zhong An Online P&C Insurance Co., the online only insurer with Alibaba and Tencent as its founding shareholders, has raised US$934 million. — The Wall Street Journal

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange “said it would re-examine its current bar on China-based companies having a secondary listing of their shares in the city — a move that could permit New York-listed groups such as Alibaba, Baidu and to return ‘home’ via secondary offerings”. — Financial Times

The Hong Kong data center of Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud service unit, was down for more than 12 hours yesterday, starting at about 9:00 am. (via CnBeta)

Two more US-listed Chinese tech companies plan to go private, VIMICRO and China Information Technology.


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